Aug 16, 2006

Iraq Kurdish Party Office Bombed

Nine Iraqis have been killed in a suicide bomb attack on an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Nine Iraqis have been killed in a suicide bomb attack on an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
The PUK is Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's political party.
Police officials have warned that the death toll could climb as rescuers search the rubble. Dozens of people were injured in the attack. Mosul is a religiously and ethnically mixed city 390km (240 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad.
A police spokesman said the bomber detonated a truck full of explosives in the PUK office car park. At least four Kurdish peshmerga security personnel and five civilians were killed.
Last week, the PUK's offices in southern Iraq were ransacked after the party's official newspaper published an article which alleged a Shia cleric was fanning sectarian tension in Kirkuk.
Karbala clashes
In Karbala, south of Baghdad, a curfew has been imposed after heavy fighting broke out between gunmen and Iraqi security forces.
A local health official told the Associated Press news agency that six people had been killed in the clashes. The fighting began after Iraqi soldiers raided the religious school of an anti-American cleric, Mahmoud al-Hassani.
Zafaraniya probes
American and Iraqi officials are giving conflicting versions of a series of explosions on Sunday that killed at least 57 people in Baghdad. A US military spokesman said American investigators had been to the scene of the blasts in the Zafaraniya district and concluded that nothing more than a "significant gas explosion" was to blame.
Maj Gen William Caldwell said the first explosion then set off secondary blasts. However, the US headquarters in Baghdad announced it was holding a deeper investigation into the explosions.
Meanwhile, Iraqi experts have conducted their own examination of the area and reached a different conclusion.
"From the extent of the damage and some remains, it is clear that the explosions were caused by bombs and rockets," interior ministry spokesman Col Saddoun Abu al-Ula was quoted as saying by AP.
Iraqi officials said Sunni militants fired a Katyusha rocket into the four-storey building.
As bystanders tried pulling bodies and injured people from the rubble, another blast occurred nearby, causing more casualties. The Iraqi authorities say a car bomb was responsible for that explosion. Zafaraniya, in south-eastern Baghdad, is a religiously mixed but majority Shia area.
Sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia groups has been escalating in recent months, despite thousands of additional US and Iraqi troops being stationed in the capital.